Help the Aged

When we last spoke, we were in the beautiful town of San Sebastian on Wednesday. We’d been hoping for some fireworks when the bus drivers arrived on Thursday morning but there was only one motorhome in the bus slots by the time they wanted to park up. That particular motorhome was about the size of a bus, a really fancy and expensive vehicle – the owner just stared the drivers out and stayed where he was. To be fair he wouldn’t have fitted anywhere else!

One of the few things we dislike about Vince is that he has an overcomplicated filling system for fresh water. Instead of a nice sensible hole in the side where you can stick a hosepipe, he has a special connection with a solenoid to shut the flow down when he’s full. All well and good you might think – you can wander off for a coffee, safe in the knowledge that you won’t come back to a river of precious water running down the road. But. It’s sooooo sloooooow. At a busy service point you can’t just sit there for forty minutes while the tank fills up or you’d have a big shouty queue of French & Spanish drivers tearing their hair out. At some locations I just fill up a barrel from the tap as we have another attachment to pump it into Vince’s tank, but at San Sebastian I craftily ran our hose from the service point to Vince’s parking bay so that we didn’t block anyone from using the other facilities there. It worked a treat, giving us enough water for showers before we headed off.

The museum on the left, and Burgos Cathedral in the distance

Our next port of call on the way south was Burgos as it was kind of on our way to Madrid. We’d visited before on a horrible wet and windy Sunday in December 2017. We’d stayed out of town in a campsite and used the bus to get into the city. Unfortunately the Sunday timetable only gave us a few hours and we had to rush round the Museum of Human Evolution. We missed loads so we vowed to return some time, and this was our chance. I won’t bore you by going over what a great place it is a second time – you can always catch up here – but I think I should warn you about the disappointing calibre of staff on duty. I’m all for youth opportunities but after processing Gill’s teaching union discount on her ticket, the nine-year-old receptionist turned to me and asked, ‘Would sir be needing the Seniors’ discount?’ I know! Can you believe it? If I could have seen her mum anywhere I’d have had a stern word or two to say about respect for her elders. I’m not even bloomin’ 60 yet!

As it was just a flying visit to Burgos we’d found a motorhome-friendly car park online for the night. On the plus side it was right beside a shopping centre which was handy for bread in the morning, and for a dirty burger and chips for tea. By the time we’d dawdled home from the museum in the evening chill, neither of us felt like cooking. On the minus side, a funfair had set up at the other end of the car park so after a double-episode Holby catch-up we fell asleep to the gentle soothing sounds of heavy rock pumping out of their speakers, sigh…

Still a bit of snow on the mountain-tops

We must have been running on fumes for a while as Vince guzzled down over 80 litres of fuel yesterday morning when we stopped off at a service station leaving Burgos. That’s the most we’ve ever bought at one time for the big fella, although our pain was eased slightly by only paying €1.28/l yay! We like Spanish diesel prices. We like Spanish motorways even more! We’d decided not to go directly to Madrid, but have another one-nighter on the way, in Segovia. When you’re used to Britain’s crowded motorway network, it’s an absolute joy for Vince to sail majestically down the inside lane of largely empty, beautifully surfaced highways where the local drivers all seem to have read the highway code when it comes to lane discipline. There was practically zero lane-hogging, and very little speeding either as we maintained a steady 60mph in the spring sunshine, with views of the snow-capped mountains of the Sierra da Guadarrama in the distance.

The Bull Ring

Segovia was a pleasant surprise after the bustle of Burgos. It’s not a small town by any means, but like many of the places we visit there was an old town full of twists and turns and ancient buildings, with more modern development surrounding it. We berthed Vince in a motorhome parking area beside the old bullring, but don’t worry, it’s no longer in use – well, not for its original purpose at least. That’s not to say there’s no conflict of any kind however. We witnessed a right old barney when a Spanish motorhome wanted to park in the space behind a German motorhome and trailer. The Germans felt they wouldn’t be able to get out of the space when they wanted to leave, and lost no time in telling the Spaniards where to go! Honestly, I think I’d have been blushing if I could understand either language. The Spaniard was in such a temper that when he moved to a different slot, he reversed straight back into a tree eek! As polite Brits we looked away and pretended we hadn’t seen. They were still looking daggers at each other this morning when they pulled away. It wasn’t the first time we’ve seen the Germans get all protective about their space – you might remember our encounter in Albufeira a couple of years ago…

Segovia was delightful to wander around in the sunshine. Our first jaw-dropping sight was the long Roman aqueduct, still standing proud and solid after two thousand years. It’s construction date is a mystery but it is estimated to have been built in the first century A.D. Hopefully you can see from the pics what great condition it is in – those Roman engineers really knew what they were doing. Segovia is home to (yet another!) beautiful cathedral which we walked round on the way to El Alcázar – the fairy-tale castle at the foot of the town. This castle is said to have been the inspiration for Disney’s Cinderella Castle, and it truly is an amazing sight in its warm golden sandstone glory. It even has the witch’s hat turrets and flying flags. Well worth a stop-off if you’re passing this way. And speaking of stop-offs it would have been rude not to dally in the square for a bit of people-watching while sipping a beer or two and enjoying a little something to eat, now would it? We are on holiday after all.

I mentioned above how great the Spanish motorways are – but that was before we got to Madrid, where I’m writing this update for you as a broken man. I’ve gone on a bit too long already, though – so I’ll slink off to lick my wounds and explain all next time.

Until our next chat, have a great weekend all! 🙂

A couple of shots…
…of Segovia’s fairy-tale castle
Multicoloured Burgos
Segovia’s Cathedral
And that aqueduct again…
…and again. It’s so photogenic in the sunshine!

7 Comments on Help the Aged

  1. Great pics as usual – can’t wait to hear about your “troubles”. Sounds like you need to come up with a ‘good story’ before owning up to one of your exploits!!

  2. Good to see you guys back out on the road, enjoyed your post, Segovia looks fantastic, we’ll definitely add it to our “must visit” list. We’ll watch out for the Madrid post 🙂

  3. ‘Would sir be needing the Seniors’ discount?’ I know! Can you believe it? Mmm let me think about that one. Segovia looks fab !

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